“It’s A Proud Thing”: Reclaiming and Representing Gullah Geechee Identity at the Original Gullah Festival SC

Douglas Peach (Sandy Spring Museum)

This presentation focuses on the role of musical performance at the Original Gullah Festival—one of the first public events to celebrate Gullah Geechee history by Gullah people, beginning in 1986. Using ethnographic and historical research, I argue that the festival’s musical performances are a key modality through which Gullahs celebrate, define, and affirm themselves. This presentation contributes to folkloristic debates on cultural sustainability, memory, and processes of reclamation from the perspective of African American communities in the Southeast United States.

Part of 03-05 Festivals and Celebrations [hybrid], Thursday, October 13, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm